One of our Contract Managers, Beverley Driver, came up with the idea after wanting to find a useful home for furniture which is no longer needed – but still in great condition – from our Cygnet (market rent) stock of properties.
A lot of the furniture is really good quality and has all the necessary fire-resistance ratings, so instead of tipping them, Beverley and her colleagues Marcus Anderson and Stuart Birks have been working with teams across the business to donate them to customers in need.
Beverley said: “Not only will this help customers and ensure we act greener, it also reduces our disposal costs as less skips are required to clear the properties. So far, we’ve had some really good furniture that we’ve been able to give away, including double beds, wardrobes, sofas, armchairs, dining tables, refrigerators, washing machines, and more.”
Three customers have already benefitted from these donations; one customer who had previously lost all their belongings in a property fire, another customer living in one of our schemes who had minimal furniture, and a third customer who had a large family and was in need of a washing machine.
Gary Dulson, our Head of External Maintenance, commented: “This is a brilliant initiative that was driven by Beverley. Whilst undertaking the void surveys, Beverley raised concerns that we’d been instructed to dispose of furnishings that were in good serviceable condition. So, she took the initiative to engage with colleagues across the business to identify if there were any tenants who were in desperate need of furnishings for their home.
“Good homes were found for the majority of the furnishings and on Thursday 4 February, Beverley, Marcus and Stuart set out to collect and redistribute them.
“The initiative has brought much-needed support to customers within our communities and the recycling contributes in reducing our carbon footprint. A brilliant collaborative effort!”
Despite this being a recent trial, we can already see the difference it’s made to some of our most vulnerable customers. This is a fantastic way to support them, whilst also helping us to be greener and more sustainable.